Friday, 14 December 2012

Poor Man's 1655 - Steinhart Ocean Vintage GMT

I can't afford a Rolex 1655 (Steve McQueen) and this is the closest to the real McCoy that I can afford. Honestly, do you really want to spend 15 grand on a watch? Well, not me. I can think of many better ways to part with that much dough.

Truth be told, I was not drawn to this model because it's a 1655 homage. I bought it because I like vintage inspired models. This is Steinhart's interpretation of the 1655. I personally feel it's more an enhancement, or even improvement of the original 1655 design.

Firstly, the case size reflects most of our current obsession with larger watches. This comes in a respectable 42mm case. Sapphire crystal is employed, and there's no cyclops date window. And I reckon it looks great without it.

The dial looks a tad busy, actually, with the thinner stick minute markers that run the entire circumference of the dial. The dial is a simple matte black, almost bothering on charcoal grey. The generously proportioned 22mm lugs are a perfect size for this case size.
This piece is depth rated to 300m. There's no HEV either.

The case back is adorned with the Steinhart Ocean range logo featuring King Neptune brandishing his trident and riding a wheelless war chariot drawn by his pet seahorse. The basic infor of the watch surrounds the circumference of the case back.

The case is a mix of matte surface and polished sides. The case is not that thick either and packs a neat profile from lug to lug.

The bezel is fixed and is used as the dial for the second time zone. Packed in the case is a standard ETA 2893-2. The ultimate surprise for me has to be how quiet and smooth the crown winds. I actually thought it was a quartz watch when i would it for the first time. This is how quiet it is.

This vintage inspired beauty is shod with a straight matte bracelet linked with screw pins. However, one complain is that there is a hug gap between the first link and the adapter and the relatively prominent gap between each link.

The bracelet is linked to a twin lock folding clasp. Strangely, it does not have a diver's extension.

The lume is not too bad either and appears to be evenly applied. Duration is pretty average.

As with most Steinharts, this is another value for money offering. the finish of the case is really spot on.
The quality far exceeds its price point.

This is a piece which I have happily added to my rotation.

Case : 42mm.
Lug Size : 22mm.
Movement : ETA2893-2.
Depth rating : 300m.

- Affordable eye candy.
- Reliable movement.
- Overall design.
- No date magnifier.
- Very smooth and quiet winding crown.
- Good finish and quality.

- No diver's extension.
- Gaps between links.
- busy dial due to large minute stick indices.


  1. Agree with every word, Richard.
    It's a great daily watch with GMT to boot.

  2. You gotta be kidding expecting diver's extension in a non-diver watch. Even original Rolex Explorer I and Explorer II don't have it and Submariner, Sea-Dweller models have it.

    1. Me kidding? Not at all. Don't forget this is marketed under steinhart's diving range. Thus, having a diver's extension is not too much to ask imo. If this is intended as a spelunker's companion, then it's a different story. Then again, none of steinhart's divers come with diver's extension.